Monday, 3 October 2011

The Payout and the Crafar Farms

# Big Farming Story of the Week: The Payout and the Crafar Farms.

Fonterra’s confirmation of a record payout for the 2010-11 season has only served to heighten interest in the sale of the Crafar Farms. Farmer Fay’s cheeky offer has been red-carded by the receivers and now we find if the Chinese bid is successful, Landcorp could end up running the farms for the aspiring purchaser, Shanghai Pengxin. It seems a logical move from the state-owned farmer but does it present a conflict of interest for a government about to embark on an election campaign? Watch this space for how overseas ownership of farms plays out ahead of the November 26 poll.

And watch this space for how Fonterra plays the domestic milk price game. In his first television interview new CEO Theo Spierings has fired the first shot across the bow by basically saying milk is too expensive. Interesting!

# Big Political Story of the Week: The Act Party’s election hopes go up in smoke!

What has Dopey Don Brash been smoking? So dear old Don wants to decriminalize cannabis - why? Whether he has a point or not, it’s surely political suicide in the affluent and conservative Epsom electorate, Act’s only lifeline to parliament. Perhaps a more popular election platform for the ageing right-winger would be to appeal to his natural constituents and make it criminal for TVNZ to play around with scheduling of that 7-30pm staple of our television diet, Coronation Street.

# Big Sporting Story of the Week: The Rugby World Cup Quarter-Finals.

The foreplay has finished and four games this weekend will decide the semi-finalists. For what it’s worth I think the final four will be Ireland, England, the Springboks and the All Blacks. And whichever team wins the semi-final between the latter two will take home the Webb Ellis Cup.

# Brickbat: RWC Price Gouging.

And as wonderful as the RWC has been, it’s a big thumbs-down to the tour companies, hotels and airlines that have blatantly price-gouged and profiteered. Despite all the hype about getting in early to secure limited tickets, those who waited until the eleventh hour have been rewarded as discounting by desperate wholesalers is now rife. Some travel retailers have been left red-faced as packages they bought and sold in good faith are now on the market at half the price. The unfortunate situation could have been avoided if initial pricing was set at a more realistic and fair price.

# Bouquet: My Dad.

My father died prematurely of lung cancer when he was 52 years old. Like all young farm boys who grew up in the Great Depression era, he had limited opportunities when it came to education, lifestyle, career choice and seeing the world beyond Southland. And like all young men of his generation he smoked tobacco which ultimately proved to be his undoing. The greatest disappointment of his life was missing out on getting to serve his country in World War II because it ended when he was 17. Foolhardy, or otherwise, that was his chance to see the world.

Next week I turn 52 years of age and it’s an untimely reminder of my mortality. As a product of the much more-mobile Baby Boomer generation, I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a bit of the world already. Not enough of it though. The Great Wall of China. The Great Pyramids of Egypt. Gallipoli and Anzac Cove. Loch Ness and beyond, to trace my Scottish ancestry. To stand where the Berlin Wall once stood. To travel Europe by train. These are all on my Bucket List.

To me at the time, my father seemed old when he died. He wasn’t, of course. He hadn’t lived, yet he was extremely content with his lot in life. My Dad was short-changed. I’ve got a lot to do before I kick the bucket.

Jamie Mackay is the host of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home